How to Manage a Cattle Farm
CATTLE FARMING INTRODUCTION
Animal are categorized into two main types; RUMINANTS and NON-RUMINANTS. This division is based on some features exhibited in the anatomy and physiology of these animals. We are concerned here with the husbandry and management of ruminants animals. This entails knowing the different local and some of the exotic breeds of cattle, sheep and goats in the tropics and their management principles. This will therefore expose our followers to the knowledge and understanding with skill acquisition in the rearing of cattle, sheep and goats which are the common ruminants in Nigeria.
These set of animals are those that feed on plant materials and utilize them for the products like meat, milk, hides and skin and so many other agro-based products and by-products. There are various breeds. A breed is a group or population of animals that shows the features or characteristics which are genetically related. Ruminant Animal Production offers the knowledge on the management of breeding animals i.e. those selected for mating and production of offspring for the farm. This is very important as it forms the foundation many successful production amongst other things. The management of the weaners or the weaned animals to maturity and other production purposes in terms of their feeds and feeding, health care and housing based on the system of production. Ruminant animals are further divided to Beef Production, Diary Cattle Production and Sheep and Goat Production.
Ruminant Animal Production is designed to provide you with the general concept and understanding of the husbandry and management principles of ruminant animals for production purposes.
Ruminant Animal Production is a course that gives you a good understanding of the care and managements of cattle, sheep and goats. It teaches the skill of rearing ruminants in the area of breeding, housing structure and the diseases of these animals. Your knowledge, understanding and skill acquisition in this course will enable you to venture into cattle, sheep and/or goat production either subsistence or commercial scale.
Animal production is an age-long activity that man carries out basically for food and the production of raw materials for agro-industries, Meat or Flesh, Milk and eggs are primarily obtained directly from farm animals for consumption by man. Wool, Fur, Hides and Skin are other products from farm animals for industrial use as raw materials. Animals are categorized as Ruminants and Non-ruminants based on some anatomical and physiological differences. Apart from being a source of raw materials such as clothing materials, leather materials (such as foot wears like shoes, belts), milk products like yoghurt, butter, cheese, and many other products. Ruminant animals, especially bull or camel are also used as draught animals for transportation and traction.
Definition of Ruminant Animals
CATTLE FARM CONSULTING
BENEFITS OF CATTLE FARMING
Ruminant animals are mammals that belong to the order Artiodactyla. They are animals with a complex stomach unlike the non-ruminants that have single stomach. They eat and digest forages or plant based fees by swallowing it first and allowing it to get moistened in the rumen which is the first compartment of the complex stomach. The swallowed food is later regurgitated by the animal and rechewed to break down the plant material for digestion. This process is called rumination or chewing the cud. The cud is a semi-solid and semi-degraded digesta usually in a bolus form which is regurgitated from the recticulo-rumen of the animal. Examples of ruminant animals are cattle, sheep, goats, camel, water buffalo, giraffes, antelope to mention but a few. However, we shall limit our consultancy services to cattle, sheep and goats that are commonly found in our environment.
The ruminant stomach is divided into for compartment or chambers unlike the simple stomach of the non-ruminant that has no division. The compartments are rumen, recticulum, omasum, abomasum. The last of the compartment is the true stomach in ruminants while the rumen and recticulum perform the function of moistening the swallowed forage. In the omasum, water and inorganic materials are absorbed before the digesta is passed into the true stomach. Another major physical difference is the possession of split hooves by ruminant animals.
NEED HELP TO SETUP A CATTLE FARM?
KACS can help you setup a profitable cattle, sheep and goat production business. We offer the following services: pen construction, supply of weaners and parent stock, feed and other farm equipment for a profitable cattle, sheep and goat production enterprise. We deal on different breeds of ruminants with good track records. We decide what type of structure is best for your land based on location and topography of the land. We can also help to manage your farm effectively for maximum production.
KACS is reliable and consistent in its approach towards achieving best production and management practices for maximum output.
Economic Importance of Keeping Ruminant Animals
Ruminant animals and their products as mentioned in the introduction have tremendous nutritional and economic values to man as stated below:
Meat and milk of cattle, sheep and goats and other ruminants are good sources of animal protein to man which is of better quality than plant protein.
They serve as sources of raw materials used in industries e.g. leather goods respectively. Goat hair is also used for making carpets, bag and ropes. Wool is a raw material for the production of clothing for human wear.
They serve as a means of foreign exchange earnings. For instance, some countries in Europe such as Denmark and Botswana in southern region of Africa export beef to earn foreign exchange. Others export dairy products from milk to earn foreign exchange.
They serve as source of income to subsistence farmers. In Nigeria, cattle, sheep and goats are kept at subsistence level by farmers.
These animals are able to survive on fallow lands and others that are not good for arable crop farming thereby maximizing the use of the available land resource.
They are also used as gifts or bride price which serves as family wealth.
They are sources of gainful employment.
The manure/dung from these animals can be used as a source of organic fertilizers.
The skin of the Red Sokoto breed of goats in Nigeria commands high premium in the international market because of its high superior quality.
In the South-Western part of Nigeria, goats are relished as meat and as barbecued during ceremonies. Generally, under the organized production system, ruminant animals are slaughtered during festive seasons all over the world. Blood and bones obtained from slaughtering of these animals are often recycled and processed into blood meal, bone meal which are used as components of animal feed.